Voigtländer cooks up pancake lens designed exclusively for Fujifilm X-mount

Voigtländer Color-Skopar 18mm f/2.8 Aspherical X-mount
(Image credit: Cosina)

The Voigtländer Color-Skopar 18mm f/2.8 Aspherical X-mount is scheduled for release in February 2024, and will only be available for the Fujifilm X-mount cameras. The lens is manual focus and 'implements an optical system optimized for the image sensor of Fujifilm X system cameras' such as the Fujifilm X-T5 and the Fujifilm X-S20

This all-metal manual focus pancake lens measures just 23.5mm from the lens mount and weighs only 115g, making it extremely lightweight and compact. This is to be expected from a lens type named pancake but in this instance, the tiny form boasts many key features that would make this an exceptionally capable lens for street and travel photography - not to mention a lot of fun!  

Voigtländer Color-Skopar 18mm f/2.8 Aspherical X-mount (Image credit: Cosina)

Comprised of 7 elements in 5 groups and 10 aperture blades the 18mm offers a max aperture of f/2.8. The 10 aperture blades allow the aperture hole to become more spherical, enabling natural out-of-focus areas that render smooth rounded bokeh. The mechanical aperture ring is also connected to the opening and closing of the blades, and with 1/3 step clicks, 'you can enjoy the feeling of directly operating the mechanism'.

The 18mm focal length is the equivalent of 28mm on full-frame, a favorite amongst landscape, street, and travel photographers as it enables capture of a wide scene.

Other noteworthy features include a minimum focusing distance of just 0.17m, a focus ring lever for precise adjustments, and electronic contacts for information communication between lens and body. This last point is not a feature on all manual focus lenses but is a useful inclusion. As long as the camera in use has updated firmware, it will be able to detect 'Exif data, focus check, shooting distance linked display, and certain models also support in-body image stabilization'.

Even though limited to MF, this lens has all the hallmarks of a classic. With MF, mechanical aperture ring, and focus lever, harken back to an analog shooting experience. If placed upon the retro-style body of some of the X Series cameras, it could be a great alternative to a Leica M11 or if used in conjunction with the outstanding Fujifilm film simulations even a Leica M6!

The Voigtländer Color-Skopar 18mm f/2.8 Aspherical X-mount from Cosina will be released in February 2024 for the price of ¥88,000 which roughly converts to $600 | £475 | AU$900. 

See our guides for more information on the best Leica camera alternatives, the best Fujifilm lenses, and the best lenses for travel photography

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Kalum Carter
Staff Writer

Kalum Carter is a UK-based photographer, writer, and photo editor. Kalum has been working as a freelance photographer for the best part of ten years, covering a wide range of assignments for well-known brands and publications in areas including portraiture, fashion, and documentary. 

Between commercial assignments, Kalum is currently working on a personal photography project exploring his connection to the Gower region of South Wales UK, as part of an MA in Photography from The University of West England.